CPR Steps

Published: 10th September 2009
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CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is an easy to learn skill that can be used to save lives. Understanding CPR through proper training, such as is offered by www.cpraedcourse.com, can be invaluable, and can allow you to extend the life of an individual who suffers from a cardiac event, a drowning, or any situation in which breathing has stopped or blood is not flowing properly.

CPR typically consists of two phases: chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, however, it is recommended by the American Heart Association that untrained individuals use only chest compressions. Though not as effective as the two phase technique, it is better to perform this 'hands-only CPR' than to attempt a process in which one is not properly skilled.

Prior to beginning CPR, you must determine if the individual is conscious. Shout and/or tap the individual. If there is no response, and no one else is available to call emergency response while CPR is being performed, call 911 first, then start the steps for CPR.

Note: If an AED (automated external defibrillator) is available, and you have been trained to use this device, the AED should be used prior to CPR.

A person who has been properly trained and certified in carrying out CPR should observe the following steps when an adult has experienced a respiratory or circulatory emergency, remembering to follow the ABCs:

A: Airway

Clear the airway by placing the individual on his or her back on a firm surface. Kneel next to the individual's shoulders and tilt his or her head back and lift open the chin. If it is not determined that breathing is normal, begin mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

B: Breathing

While the person is lying on his or her back with the head tilted and the airway open, pinch the nostrils closed. Completely seal the mouth with your own. Give one breath for one second and watch for signs of the chest rising. If the chest does not rise, attempt to clear the airway a second time and repeat the breathing technique.

C: Circulation

Place the heel of one hand on the middle of the individual's chest, with the other hand on top of the first. Push down hard, about two inches, and very quickly, attempting two pushes, or compressions, per second. Count compressions and stop to give rescue breaths after every 30 pushes.

For children over the age of one, CPR is much the same, except only one hand should be used while performing chest compressions. In an emergency with a child, it is acceptable to begin CPR before calling 911.

CPR as performed above should only be used by trained individuals. If you are not trained to perform CPR, you can still attempt chest compressions without using mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. If you are not trained to perform CPR and would like to be, visit www.CPRAEDCourse.com to learn how you can become trained and certified.


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